Gov. Polis Announces Launch of Care Forward Colorado Healthcare Training Program

Original press release published on Gov. Polis’s website.

Today, Governor Polis, joined by Lieutenant Gov. Primavera, Dr. Angie Paccione, Department of Higher Education executive director, Joe Garcia, Colorado Community College System (CCCS) chancellor, Stephanie J. Fujii, Arapahoe Community College president, state legislators, and community leaders launched the Care Forward Colorado program, which makes short-term healthcare training at community and technical college cost-free for aspiring health care professionals.

“We are saving Coloradans money and making sure students can get the skills and training they need to build up our health care workforce for the future,” said Gov. Polis. “Colorado has one of the most highly educated and talented workforces in the country, and we are taking action to develop more talent right here at home.”

Earlier this year, Gov. Polis signed bipartisan legislation sponsored by state Senators Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Bob Rankin and State Rep. Kyle Mullica as part of Colorado’s Roadmap to Moving Forward to infuse funding into the development of the health care workforce, providing real support to Coloradans entering the health care industry in good-paying jobs.

“We have long been the partner of choice for Colorado’s health care industry and are proud to continue this legacy through Care Forward Colorado,” said Joe Garcia, chancellor of CCCS. “We are grateful to Gov. Polis and legislators for entrusting us with this generous investment and stand ready to train the next generation of health care professionals.”

Programs and training opportunities will be available at 19 community and technical colleges across Colorado, including the 13 CCCS colleges, Aims Community College, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado Mountain College, and Colorado’s Area Technical Colleges. Starting in Fall 2022, students who enroll in one of the following health care certificate programs will have tuition, fees, and materials covered as Care Forward Colorado funding allows.

  • Certified nursing assistant

  • Emergency medical technician

  • Phlebotomy technician

  • Pharmacy technician

  • Medical assistant

  • Dental assistant

Helping Coloradans get the skills they need to lead careers they love has been one of the Polis Administration’s top priorities, with a focus on skills development in key industries like education, child care, and healthcare. Care Forward Colorado is one of more than 100 ways the Polis Administration continues to save Coloradans money and connect Coloradans to good-paying jobs.

“Even before the pandemic, Colorado faced shortages in critical entry-level health care positions, and our colleges are committed to filling these gaps through affordable, accessible training,” said Dr. Landon Pirius, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at CCCS. “We are grateful to Governor Polis and the General Assembly for prioritizing legislation that makes historic investments in students and in our programs so we can bolster our work to transform lives and train the next generation of health care leaders.”

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